Shrouds of Varda Inn ~ Fornost in the 4th Age *Burned Down*

Pull out your pack and head on down to the Prancing Pony for some great Role Playing (try to stay in character)!

Shrouds of Varda Inn ~ Fornost in the 4th Age *Burned Down*

Postby Arassuil » Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:14 pm

Edit 2/10/08: It's the third month and there's been a bit over 200 thread views, of which maybe 20-30 are mine, but zero replies. I think maybe there is too much set story and too much detail for anyone to deal with, or maybe its too hard to incorporate NCE inn-staff into one's posts, or whatever. I said after 3 months that if nothing progressed I would close the inn per the RP inn rules. I have just under 2 weeks to go, and so I thought I would edit this post to something lighter and simple and see if any interest comes along.

Edit 30/6/11: Due to many months of inactivity and my time constraints, I have written this Inn to an end. Thank you everybody who participated!



Introduction

Having applied for and been granted a building and operation permit for an Inn here in the Prancing Pony, it is my hope that writers feeling an urge to do some un-scripted Middle-Earth RP and maybe want to interact with other writers in-character, polish their muse, and maybe even develop and spin off an RP story. Come and spend some time at The Shrouds of Varda. The innkeeper, servers, and bartender characters are to be considered neutral and therefore can be used in one's posts as needed. This will eliminate the requirement of an answering post from a controlled inn-staff character for services rendered (drinks, food, room requests, etc.) and allow for more interaction between the various writer's characters that enter the inn. Since this an 'Inn', there is no accompanying out-of-character thread, so if there is a need for an OOC, then tack it on either the beginning or end of your in-character RP post. Try and be brief, and no OOC-only posts. All the Guidelines and Rules for Role Playing in the Prancing Pony are in force, and I wish to put emphasis on section #2 and section #7. Its my hope that the majority of posts will contain both scene setting and thought narrative as well as dialogue in hopes that the tales will build while much fun ensues and this business venture is a success. Enjoy!


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Shroud of Varda Inn - Fornost, sometime in the Fourth Age

In the Third Age, the Kingdom of Arnor was first ruled from the city of Annuminas, but later as the people dwindled, the ruling seat was moved to the fortress city of Fornost. The city was later destroyed by the armies of Carn Dum, but sometime after the return of the King, the city was again rebuilt. Just inside the gates of the new city to the right stood an old stone building that had survived the sack in reasonable good structural order, and now, as then, ithoused an inn. It was now called The Shrouds of Varda, and was a place where people from all parts of Middle Earth would visit after a long journey, or spend a last night of merriment before setting out the next day. Here too the local folk would gather to meet and talk over good food and drink and make merry. The inn got its name from its rooftop garden, where one could dine quietly in the midsummer twilight and watch the stars appear. But most opted for the warmth and bustle of the large common room.

Inside the two massive carved oak doors was a wide open square room with stone arches supporting the roof, allowing for no posts to obstruct the room. The right wall was lined with an oak bar where the drinks were served. Everything from spirits to fine local ale was available, and Touron the bartender knew his business. Scattered about the room were tall old wooden tables and some three-legged stools for those who preferred to sit, not stand. Many were worse for wear, but comfort was the norm in the common room. Sisters Brenae and Dawnae worked as serving maids, and brothers Marvol and Martli were serving waiters. Each would take turns with duties in the kitchen, collecting firewood, and tend the patrons steeds in the stables. A lively place this room, with words and deeds telling of travels and tales in the dim lustre of smoke-filled lamplight being the norm.

To the left just inside the great entrance was an archway that had stone stairs that went up, turning back to another flight that came to a doorway. Out this door was the rooftop garden, where in contrast, finely crafted wood tables, chairs, and benches were arranged among the foliage to allow for privacy. Luxury dining and favoured table service was the forte of the rooftop garden, and seating here could be requested if one wished.
Last edited by Arassuil on Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Arassuil » Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:51 pm

It was a cool late summer's evening in the city of Fornost, and arriving at the Shrouds of Varda, Dauril had just returned from a long journey south to trade in the city of Pelargir. Returning to his homeland in the north, he rested along the way at inns in Gondor, Rohan, Tharbad, and Bree. Now that he was at "The Shrouds", he would stay awhile and rest.

Securing his goods and settling his horse with the stablehand, he went in to the inn where Dawnae greeted him. He nodded back politely before he looked to the bar. The common room was busy, but not overly so, and the help appeared easily keeping the patrons satisfied. He walked his tall muscular frame over to the bar and pushing his long curly locks back behind his ear, he looked at the kegs set in a row behind the bartender. Pondering the names of the ales, he finally asked the bartender,

"A mug of Tall Towers Imperial ale please."

"Good choice sir..."


Touron answered,

"... the keg was just tapped today!"

"Thanks kindly."


Dauril said as he lay a silver coin on the bar.

"That much will get you three mugs sir!"

Touron said surprised. Dauril sipped at the foam in his mug and said,

"I'll be back for the second, and the third is yours."

"Thank you kindly sir. I'll collect it when I am off work."


Touron said as he dropped the coin in a pot and took his quill to note the credit. Dauril turned and walked over toward the hearth of the great fireplace that burnt low, giving an orange hue to the light in the room. The small table candles made a dim flicker about the individual tables and the few wall lamps were only a little brighter. Nodding to a few patrons at a nearby table, he sat on the hearth. The summer warmth still lingered but soon in days ahead the winter chill of autumn would fast encroach from the northern highlands, allowing the first frost to cover the city. It wont happen this night, for though the skies are clear and all, the winds of summer still blew from the south. It would be a good evening to go to the roof and see the stars, but that would have to be later. Right now, he would enjoy his beer.

Quietly sipping and listening, he could tell that affairs in the kingdom were fairly stable. Sure, there was talk of the Armies of the West subduing the last pockets of evil in lands far away south and east, but that held but few whispers here and there. Instead, talk was of who was marrying who, the rise of births of daughters and sons, and what new works the King had proposed.

As Dauril sat and sipped the great tasting ale, Dawnae came by and asked him,

"You wish something to eat sir? We have some roast lamb with peas, carrots and potatoes if you're really hungry, or you can have just the plate of cheeses, butter, and bread if you care for a lighter snack."

Dauril pondered the choice before looking into the young lady's eyes to answer,

"I'll have the full meal. It has been long since I had eaten proper."

"I will have it to you promptly sir."


She said as she twirled about, her skirts causing the candle on the nearest table to flicker. Dauril got up from the hearth and went to sit at that table, and it was but a few minutes before the table was set, and he began to eat.

It was filling, and Dawnae brought him more ale. At the noise of the door's old iron hinge, he would turn and look. Maybe he was in search of someone he knew that would be interested in his trade goods, or maybe just to watch people come and go. It was good to be back in Fornost!
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Postby Tempest » Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:43 pm

Tempest had been pleased, after so many grueling miles of travel on horse and on foot, to finally find a respectable-looking inn to put up her feet and rest awhile. Her business was pressing, but not urgent, and she figured the renewed energy she would feel after a few nights in a good bed, instead of on hard earth, would make up for the time lost.

She found herself in a merry mood as she walked through the doors of the Shroud of Varda Inn, quite unlike her usual morose self. She ordered a hearty meal and even gestured in friendly acknowledgement toward several other patrons who sat cozily enjoying their meals.

While she waited for her food, she leaned back and observed the room, her eyes catching everything and everyone in a few steady glances. One couldn't be too careful, especially as far north as Fornost. She sighed, and when her server brought out a pint of ale to her table, she asked if there were any Rangers recently seen in Fornost.

"Rangers? Not for awhile now, though Tallin was here not two weeks past."

"No others?"

"None, though there are other inns," she pointed out.

"Did Tallin mention where he might be headed?"

The girl shook her head. "I'm sorry, he didn't talk to me. Perhaps some of the other regulars would know."
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Postby Naveen » Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:24 am

*

The light in the room was slowly fading as the wicks in the lanterns burnt low. Some of them sputtered and gave off tiny puffs of black smoke and soot and darkened the globes that protected them. Touron stifled a yawn as he wiped off the top of the oaken bar. He was thirsty and eyed the note of credit written earlier, reminded of the mug of ale due him at the end of the night. ‘Close enough’ he thought as he raised an empty mug to the spigot.

He was just about to draw a long pull for himself when he heard the hinges creak in protest as the door was pushed open. He turned around and watched as someone entered the newcomer come in and look around. It was another woman, someone who’d been on the road for a goodly time by the looks of her worn leather trousers and dust covered boots. Touron watched with interest as she loosened the fastening at her throat and pushed back her hood. Her hair was dark, pulled off of her face into a long braid that fell over her shoulder as it fell loose from the hood. The light was dim, but he could tell from her profile as she looked around that she was comely.

‘Now that’s a sight that’s easy on these tired eyes,’ he thought, unconsciously straightening up and smoothing down the front of his rumpled shirt again. He waited until her gaze found him at the bar then smiled and called out, “Welcome to the Shroud of Varda.”

His smile was returned and as the woman started walking over to the bar, she pushed the cloak over one shoulder and hoisted the pack hanging from her hand up onto the shoulder. Touron’s eyebrow lifted slightly as she walked through the small pools of light cast by the candles on the tables she passed. An Easterner, either from Harad or Umbar. Touron had seen so few before the War that he was still learning to distinguish the difference now that it was becoming more of a common occurrence to see them this far north.

“Welcome,” he said as she reached the bar. “Would you like something to quench your thirst?”

“A mug of mead if you’ve any, or an ale,” the woman answered as she dropped the pack on the floor and drew one of the stools closer.

“Have you just arrived in Fornost? It’s rather late to be on the road.”

“My horse picked up a stone on the road and I ended up walking the last leg of the journey. Ah, this will help,” she flashed a grateful smile as Touron set a mug of amber colored ale on the bar in front of her. He waited until after she taken a long drink before asking. “Would you be needing a bite to eat? There sure to be some roast lamb left or perhaps a loaf of bread and cheese?”

“Just a bit of bread and some cheese.”

Touron called Dawnae over to the bar, requesting a small plate be made up and brought to the lady. Naveen had turned and was looking around the room again. “I’ll need a room for the night also. Do you have one?”

“Yes. I’m sure there an empty room or two left.”

“Oh! And my horse. I left him with a stablehand who promised to look after him, but I’ll need the services of a blacksmith tomorrow. Is there one in Fornost?”

“Indeed there is. I’ll have Geoff, the stablehand bring him around in the morning. He’s quite good, a cousin of mine…the blacksmith I mean.” Touron replied starting to turn away. He could hear Brenae’s foot tapping as she stood a few feet away waiting for him to finish talking.

*
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Postby Arassuil » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:47 pm

(OOC: Woo-hoo! Some activity! Thanks Tempest & Naveen! My apologies for my late response but rl has been quite hectic over the holidays.)

Dauril sat sipping his ale slowly, relaxing and observing. It had been a long day and he debated retiring to a room, but the fire near him felt too good to leave. He watched her sidelong as a woman came in and sat off by herself. She had picked a strategic place in the common room where the sight lines allowed watch on the doorways and most of the commo n room. Dauril gave her a nod when she gazed his way for a moment, and she returned it.

Draining his mug, he sat it on the table and closed his eyes as if he was resting. This made his ears keener, and he could make out the voice of Brenae. He opened his eyes a bit to see her talking with the woman, then closed them again. He couldn't quite make out what the woman was saying, but he did get enough from Brenae's voice to know she was asking about Rangers, one in particular, and if they had been in recently.
He then opened his eyes and looked at her as she watched Brenae walk away. Rangers were few and far between since the return of the King. Most either served the King in some fashon, or returned home to enjoy a quiet life. But there were rumour that some were still active in the King's service. A shadow force seldom seen, seeking the renegades of evil wherever they went. Dauril knew of a couple, and suspected they were in the Kings service when they last talked in Pelargir. They of course would not admit any such activity, but the eyes told more than the words spoken. The were on their way south and east, but they were doing more than collecting spices to sell. No, the King still had some trouble on the outskirts of the conquered lands, and they were off to deal with it.

It was getting late, and he wished to retire. Rising from his seat, he drained his mug and sat it down. Looking at the one who asked about Rangers, he took a few steps her way. Her eyes turned on him and a tenseness filled the space between them. Dauril stopped and said quietly,

"I know a few Rangers of old, and I couldn't help but overhear you asking the barmaid of them. Maybe I may know of whom you seek?"

Just then the candle upon her table snuffed itself as the last bit if wick fell into the molten wax. A single puff of smoke floated up into the dim air, and the door opened. The burst of air coming in with a road-weary traveller caused a few more burning their last to go out. Dauril then turned back to the one he had addressed, and watched as she pondered his offer, but he broke the silence and said,

"Perhaps you wish this night to be left to yourself. Just saying I do know of some."

He gave a friendly nod to her as he turned to go back to his table. Catching the newcomer looking about as they stood at the bar getting served, he nodded to her in greeting, then returned to his table.
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Postby Fir-Bolg » Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:51 pm

Mullik had the grace of movement his name evoked. No elf-like elegance from him: his huge feet thudded to the ground, then scraped half a step before swinging up to land again. Thud! Scrape. Swish. Thud! His approach could be heard from a furlong away, and those who knew best were gone before his arrival. Six feet tall at the shoulders, clad in a cloak of dirty black bearskin, leather breeches and jerkin, he looked more than half a troll. His disposition matched.
He was not impressed by folk. Elves ignored him, sensing, perhaps, the antipathy he felt for their beauty and laughter. Humans shunned him, through fear or faint disgust. Dwarves, he found, were more to his taste, if taste he had. Drink and dark places was their realm. No time did they have for judging a man on appearence. If he had gold in his purse, he had company. Not that Mullik craved company. Tonight, however, it would be hard to avoid.

It was night when Mullik reached the inn; one of those cold, dank nights when the air hangs heavy with vapour; when the bones ache and the teeth chatter. Above the entrance, strung up on wet rusty chains, was a sign, and the name caught his eye. "The Shrouds of Varda." For a moment he hesitated, and a faint sneer cracked his face as he savoured the dark ambiguities, then the spell was broken and he leaned his weight against the door. The heavy oak turned on well oiled hinges, and Mullik crossed the threshhold, leaving the chill air behind, but some spirit of the night entered with him.

The atmosphere was thick with smoke tinged red by the crackling, spitting fire that burned in a great, soot-stained hearth. To Mullik's right was a long bar where customers sat, perched on high wooden stools, or slouched slovenly, leaning forwards, elbows resting on the polished surface. Ignoring the murnur of conversation that ebbed and flowed around him, and with the briefest of dismissive galnces at the room's clientele, Mullik walked over.
Scrape. Swish. Thud! Scrape. Swish. Thud!
He elbowed aside a sprawling barfly, and motioned the bartender over. The drunk who he'd unceremoniously swatted turned to him angrily, but the words of protestation dried in his throat, as Mullik knew they would. With mumbled incoherence he gathered his tankard and slid away.

"It's a foul night, my friend. Have you travelled far?"

Touron's enquiry was professionally polite, and he cocked his head to one side as he awaited response. His eyes strayed momentarily to the iron rod hidden from customer sight behind the counter. Would it stop this brute, he wondered.

"Your roof. There's a garden there. I wish to use it."

The accent was foreign, a southerner's maybe, but in truth Touron couldn't place it. The pitch was a surprise, high and reedy, almost childlike, and he felt an alarming urge to laugh forming in the pit of his stomach. I must be crazy, he thought and covered his expression with a swift wipe of his lips on the back of his hand.

"The passage to the roof garden is over there, friend, through the arch yonder" he gestured. Mullik turned his head and with his eyes followed Touron's pointing finger.

"But with the weather how it is, there'll be more comfort....." his voice tailed off. The stranger was gone, walking with that peculiar gait, back across the room. People parted at his approach, like water to the bow of a ship.

Touron shivered. There was something wrong about this man, and he didn't like it. Didn't like iit at all...
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Postby erinhue » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:09 pm

It was a foul night. Starless clouded skies made the night dark and gloomy enough to dampen even the bright spirit of the Bard of Belfalas. Erinhue gave a slight tug at the reigns and his painted pony Treble came to a reluctant halt. Even the steadfast mount wanted to get out of the damp and depressing night.

Erinhue looked across the distance at the single bright spot against the void. It was the beacon set in the uppermost window of Eldfess's long deserted tower. The bard stared across more than a distance that could be measured in miles, his gaze went back in time by the road of memory.

Good friends had shared many a good time within the confines of The Tower. Most were gone now, claimed by noble death or gone across the sea and none returned from either call. Their faces and their happy voices came to him with in that distant spot of light and for a rare and singular moment Illuvatar's Bright Spirit was depressed.
Last edited by erinhue on Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby erinhue » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:33 pm

Treble’s impatient stamping on the hard stony ground brought the bard called Erinhue out of his reverie. Best to keep the memories sweet, he told himself and gave the edgy pony leave to move on. The Tower’s lonely beacon faded behind him in the distance.

For some time the black and white horse’s hoof steps were the only sound. Even the silver bells braided into its tail and mane were silenced by the gloom of this dark night.

This desolate area had been witness to much destruction in the events that ended the Third Age. With the Return of the King much of it had been restored by hope for a better future and was slowly coming back to life. One of his oldest friends that had not yet been called away from Middle Earth by one means or another had left a cryptic message suggesting a meeting at the recently restored Shrouds of Varda Inn. Feeling old friends were what he needed, Erinhue had set out to answer that request.

In another hour’s time small lights could be made out in the near distance and the bard steered his mount in that direction. Soon it became clear that they were headed towards the inn and Treble picked up his step unbidden by his rider. They both had thoughts of a tasty meal and a warm and sheltered place to await the dawn.
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Postby erinhue » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:01 pm

After securing Treble a place inside the tavern’s stable, Erinhue crossed the courtyard, pushed on the thick wooden door and went inside.

A few of the patrons looked up at the newcomer’s entry but most remained involved in their own thoughts or business. Coming up to the oak log bar, Erinhue took a small silver coin out of his pocket and asked for as much beer as it would purchase. When the bar keep brought over the medium sized tankard, Erinhue leaned in towards him and flashed the very brightest version of his starbright grin.

“The name’s Erinhue, a warrior by chance but barding is my chosen trade. I’ve little money left and not enough to match my thirst so I’d like ta make a deal.”

“Erhinue ya say.” The bartender had heard the name, most everyone from Bree to Belfalas had heard the name but that by no means meant that this was the famous bard.

“So you’d like to make a deal?” the man asked cautiously. “I’ll hear you out but that don’t mean that I’ll take it.”

Erinhue added a bit more wattage to his smile and replied “ A wise man ya are, my friend. A name is easy ta bandy about and once the beer is gone there’s no getting it back, not in any form that you would want that is.”

In spite of himself the bartender laughed and warmed to the man’s congenial nature. Erinhue or not he just might have earned himself a top off to that tankard. “So just what is this deal you’d like to make, my friend?”

“It’s a well known fact that it’s good luck ta buy a bard a beer,” Erinhue responded, “and it’s even better luck if ya don’t let him drink alone. So for every beer they buy me they’ll buy one for themselves and there maybe might be a few so moved to buy a round for the whole house. If by the end of the night you deem you’ve made a fair and decent profit, you put me and my horse up for room and board the night for free.”

The man looked around the tap room and made a fast calculation.

“That would be a right fair deal, provided you are good enough.”

Erinhue’s grin spread wide and brighter than the stars.

“Oh, I’m good enough, my friend.” There was no trace of humility in his voice.

As the bard strode to a prominent position, where he could be certain to draw everyone’s attention, the bartender wondered to himself that the man had no instrument to play. Sensing his thought Erinhue turned to him and winked. He then held up his hand and called out, “Agarak, to me.”
"Where ever you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Bonzi

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Postby Fir-Bolg » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:17 pm

The bartender was right. The weather, if anything, had worsened, and the garden was deserted. Mullik drew his cloak close about him, and squinted through the gloom. His instructions were specific. In the garden to the righht was a bower. Through the arched bower was an alcove, hidden from the view of inquisitive eyes, a favourite of lovers, and plotters. At the end was a stone settle, flush with the wall of the inn. And above the seat, nine feet from the ground, was the object of his quest. Faint laughter rose from below, but Mullik was deaf to the revelling. Like in a dream now, the garden passed by him. He had no light, yet he saw with the clarity of day. Voices whispered in his ear: excited, cajoling, pleading. He felt warmth in his loins, and dryness in his throat. He loosened his knife from its sheath, and there was the chair, and the wall, all lit by a light so bright it burned into his eyes. The voices gibbered and grew frantic, moaning and groaning in wild anticipation. Shielding his eyes with his hand, Mullik climbed up, looked up, and thrust his blade in the wall, into the source of the light. The blade, black obsidion chased with veins of siver, shattered. The crescendo of voices cut off in a single scream; of pain, of terror, of victory, and there was silence once more, and darkness.

Mullik was no longer alone.

"Master", he said, as he slowly turned.

"My servant," came the reply, in a voice that was old, and cold, and terrible.
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Postby erinhue » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:41 pm

*OOC - Whoa baby looks like we got ourselves a story. Was gonna log out but this is too good ta pass up, be right back. I got ants in m'pants and I wanna dance 8) *
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Postby erinhue » Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:06 pm

When Erinhue held out his hand and called it’s name, the dragonharp, Agarak appeared. The small hand harp was fashioned in the shape of a winged dragon with greenish gold scales, open mouth with red tonge visible between tiny sharp looking fangs and sparkling jewel red eyes.

The harp had a mind and life of its own and was much more than what it seemed. Erinhue did not play the harp. He laid his hand flat against its taught strings and silently requested that it sing along with him. The music of its tenor voice sounded and filled the tavern with wonder. Erinhue smiled as nearly all eyes turned towards him. He coughed once then let his buttery baritone voice sing out in a impish attitude.

“A life lived on the open road
With every inn and tavern home
Where every path can bring a tale
To keep a tankard full of ale
To sing a song of daring do
Or lovers bidding sad adieu
A clever tale to bring a laugh
All can be found on any path
To battle monsters with a sword
Or stand against an evil lord
To sooth a spirit torn by strife
Are hallmarks of the bardic life
The traveling life is always free
Oh, that’s the sort of life for me.”


Erinhue considered that his introduction and as reward someone, no doubt trying to turn his luck, did indeed buy him a beer. All eyes were on him as he took his time wetting his throat. He was about to launch into the latest version of the tavern crowd favorite, Morgan’s Joy, when he felt Agarak’s sudden presence in his head.

“What’s wrong, old worm?”
The voice of the dragonharp sounded in his mind.
“Bard, an old and dangerous adversary has made an appearance somewhere nearby.”

Erinhue did not allow the brilliance of his showtime smile to waver, but the tone of the little dragon’s voice was disconcerting. He was a warrior, by chance, and a Mithril Knight to boot and there were many adversaries vanquished, or nearly so in his past.

Trouble had a way of finding him even when he wasn’t looking for it. No matter he thought and shrugged his shoulders, certain that it would show it’s evil face when the time suited it. In the meanwhile there was beer to be had and an audience sitting in the palm of his hand.
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Postby Fir-Bolg » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:05 pm

Down to the floor went Mullik, his arms spread wide in supplicance, his face pressed into the earth. Joy exultant blazed in his breast, an unquenchable fire that he felt would consume him. His master had returned, rescued by him, Mullik, the shunned and despised one. No more did that matter. He would give ample cause for those worms to despise him, when his master once more rode to battle, with him at his side. Oh, how the masses would flock to his banner: the thieves, the murderers, the pestilent malcontents. How their enemies would tremble!

But soft. Take stock. This infant might perish at the birthing.

He ventured a glance. In the dark was a form of absolute black, a rent in the night, shapeless, unmade. To release his master had been but a first act, a prologue, but Mullik was certain that danger lay waiting.

It was nearer than he guessed.

His master was weak. Yes, it was true, and he knew it; still tied to that land of shadows and twilight eternal. He needed time to recover, to break free of the threat of return to that limbo..

"There is a presence nearby, " said the figure before him, and it shivered, and wavered, and shrank. Was that fear Mullik heard?

"It... feels me, as I feel it. Slave, make haste. I have need of you."

"Anything, Master." he said, and confusion pawed at his brain.

"Quickly. Time is the essence. Stand up."

Mullik scrabbled to his knees, his clumsiness a curse, gripped the edge of the chair and levered himself up. As he turned to face the spirit, a coldness penetrated his body, forcing a gasp from his lips.

"It is but for a while, servant. I have need of your body."

And the cold flowed deeper, and with it came the void.


* OOC. I'm afraid that might be all I can provide for a week or so, as I may be away... *
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Postby Fir-Bolg » Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:17 pm

The thing that had been Mullik stretched, like a cat uncoiling. It felt, for the first time in aeons; the slick oilyness of grime on skin; the chafing of rough cloth, the taste of its own breath. It laughed, and was shocked by the echo of its voice. It stretched, and stretched, and breathed heavily on the air, so sweet, like perfume. But others smells competed, and it was aware of the stench of this body, and for a moment it shuddered in disgust. I must walk, it thought, and paused in confusion, for it knew not how to.

Recall, it demanded, and closed its eyes, searching for for those vestiges of memory. And it knew, and laughed once more. Simplicity!

The thing stepped forward, and there was grace, and kingly bearing. No more did the boots scrape in a parody of drunkenness; Mullik's body strode, upright, balanced, the steps clean and sure. It reached the stairs, and paused, listening, attentive, and savoured the sound of singing.

I could sing, it thought, songs that would cause your blood to freeze in your veins; your hearts to quiver and burst.

The words drifted up, and the thing drank them in;


"'.... can be found on any path
To battle monsters with a sword
Or stand against an evil lord
To sooth a spirit torn by strife
Are hallmarks of the bardic life
The traveling life is always free
Oh, that’s the sort of life for me.”



And for a final time, it laughed.

You wish to battle monsters, minstrel? We shall see. We shall see.

With a flourish, it swept the bearskin cloak over one shoulder, and descended the stairs...
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Postby Arassuil » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:51 pm

(OOC: It was just last weekend I started writing a closing post for this inn due to its lack of traffic and the forum rules being what they are. Go away a few days and it explodes with activity! Have to give it all a read and reply if I can. Tempest & Naveen, you still in this?)


The blast of air from outside and the stirring noise of someone talking with the bartender shook Dauril from his light slumber. The fire had eased him, but now things were stirring. An ill-looking fellow had entered and left quickly with few words, and another came through the door as well. Dauril listened to the exchange, gathering the man wanted to entertain. Touron looked around while talking with the man, and Dauril made quick hand-sign to him that he would indeed buy him a beer. If he was any good, he'd buy him another.

The man produced an interesting-looking harp, and they proceeded to perform a merry tune. One of old, from the war it seemed to Dauril. He let Touron know that the bard was worthy of one of the good ales. When they finished, Dauril applauded, and a smattering of others clapped a bit.

It was then there seemed a disturbance, and the bard... rather his harp, seemed to cringe for a moment. Dauril also felt unease for a passing of a gust of wind. Again the chimney back-drafted and the room filled with more pine-scented haze. A candle or two flickered out, but Dawnae was quick to get them re-lit. Still, Dauril had a bad feeling. He covertly made sure his concealed blades were ready for trouble, then stood and walked over to greet the bard.

"A song worthy of beer good sir. Maybe if time and events permit, I would like to accompany you if I may. Dauril is the name, and though I sing little but my own mind's thoughts and memories, a lyre I have that I play too little..."

He let his voice taper as an eye focused on the door for a moment. He then bowed slightly to the bard as Brenae carried two flagons of Northern Waste Winter ale to them both.
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Postby Naveen » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:16 am

*


Sitting cross-legged on the bed in a small room near the stairs, Naveen was studying a piece of crumpled parchment lying in front of her. It was a crudely drawn map of the lands north of Fornost and one slim brown finger traced an imaginary line northward…it had been such a long time ago…She turned her head towards the door. What was that? It sounded as if someone was walking up the stone steps to the roof garden but the sound was odd; a heavy step and then a scrape. Was the person lame? She listened until the steps faded then went back to looking at the map. She was remembering times past and let her mind drift.

Suddenly a shiver ran down her spine bringing with it a momentary flash of danger. Whether it was triggered by her reminiscing or signaled something else Naveen didn’t know; it was too fleeting, but it instantly sharpened her awareness. She sat up straight; one hand at the long slim blade tucked into her boot as she slowly looked around, listening closely for any unusual noise. All she heard was the sound of music drifting up from below. It was a harp and someone singing.

The tune was catchy, easy on the ear, but she couldn’t catch all the words. Quickly she folded up the map, stuffed it under the flat pillow and went out the door. Stopping a few steps from the bottom of the stairs, she paused and leaned against the cool stone wall and casually scanned the room.

A few who had been there when she went upstairs to her room she recognized; the man with longish curly hair, a blond woman, a few who she had taken to be be local townsfolk and some of the staff, but there were a few people who must of arrived after she was in her room.

One of the newcomers was standing near the center of the room. He had his back to her at the moment, but she could plainly see the harp cradled lightly in the crook of his arm. It was a striking instrument and the music coming from it was pleasing to her ear. It ended all too soon.

Wide awake and the mood to hear more, Naveen quietly stepped into the room and slipped into a chair at the nearest unoccupied table.

'I only hope he doesn't play Morghan's Joy for I've heard it too many times,' she thought as she waited for one of the serving wenches to spy her.

*
(OOC:Here for now. Interesting opening, really caught my attention. Anxious to see how it plays out and what develops. Wondering if Naveen will be a good fit. :) )

Minor edit to correct a few word misplacements.
Last edited by Naveen on Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby erinhue » Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:31 am

* OOC: Ah Naveen darlin' didn't ya just know there was no way I could resist a challenge like that :D*


MORGAN'S JOY

Now Morgan had just one true love
But that was not his wife
He loved a brew
Of golden hew
And loved it all his life

Say Morgan was a wealthy man
With ships in every port
And all his due
Went to the brew
His life, his love, his sport

For its ale, ale and by the pail
And that be Moran’s joy

The tavern’s all know Morgan’s name
They raise it up in song
Of how he’ll drink
Right to the brink
And then sleep all day long

When Morgan brings himself to town
You’d better hide the lasses
‘Cause when he’s drunk
Worse than a skunk
He’s bound to make some passes

And it’s ale, ale, and by the pail
For that be Morgan’s Joy.

When Morgan met a pretty girl
He was a love struck gander
She took his heart
Then thought she’d start
To teach him better manners

When Morgan took the girl to wife
She tried to tone him down
She hid his brew
He said “Adieu”
And made his way to town.

For it’s ale, ale, and by the pail
Now that be Morgan’s Joy.

When Morgan came into the bar
His friends were all astounded
He left his bride
To join their side
But why? They were confounded.

“Why Morgan, what could bring ye here?”
His friends wanted to know
“The lass did think
I’d give up drink
For that she had to go”

For its ale, ale and by the pail
And that be Morgan’s Joy.

Mrs Morgan was a clever girl
Not one to take a loss
She’d get her man
Back under hand
And show him who was boss

Mrs Morgan took herself to town
And straight into that tavern
She called for drink
And made them think
Her stomach was a cavern

When Morgan saw the ale go down
He kissed his blushing bride
She loves the brew
As much as you
The tavern goers cried

Well she and Morgan made a bet
To see who was more able
We’ll match our drinks
I’ll win, he thinks
She drank him ‘neath the table

“What Promise” Morgan asked the girl
To mark your winning stride?”
“No more brew
For me or you
Unless we’re side by side”.

Then Morgan turned and shouted out
“She’s sharper than a cleaver
With such an oath
I would be loath
To ever ever leave her.”

And its ale, ale and by the pail
For that be Morgan’s Joy.
"Where ever you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Bonzi

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Postby erinhue » Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:32 am

Now Morgan was a married man
Who ought to settle down
But when his wife
Distressed his life
Old Morgan went to town

Straight to the tavern Morgan went
To hang with his old crowd
His wife well knew
He’d be at the brew
So she went to track him down.

And its ale, ale and by the pale
For that be Morgan’s Joy.

In the doorway Mrs Morgan stood
And witnessed Morgan’s bliss
She took a look
And stomped her foot
Said, “I’ll put a stop to this.”

Mrs Morgan turned herself around
And went off in a huff
She soon came back
In a wagon packed
With all their worldly stuff

And its ale, ale and by the pale
For that be Morgan’s Joy

When Morgan saw his wife outside
He jumped up with a shout
“What are you doin’
With the stuff you’re movin’
Could it be you’re putting me out?”

“Oh No” his wife sweetly replied
“I knew that you would roam
With ale and wine
You’ll spend your time
So I’m making the tavern our home

And its ale, ale and by the pale
For that be Morgan’s Joy.
"Where ever you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Bonzi

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Postby Naveen » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:22 am

*

Although the next tune the bard chose to play was indeed Morghan’s joy she could not keep her foot from tapping along while she sipped the tankard of golden mead Dawnae brought.

It wasn’t that she didn’t like the song; it was actually one of the more pleasant tavern ditties she had heard in recent memory. It was just that she was in the mood for something new. Catching the eye of the serving wench as she passed by with an arm load of empty tankards, Naveen dug into the leather pouch on her belt and drew out a coin. “For the minstrel. When he has finished this tune, will you request another? Ask him if he knows any tales about the wyrms of old and treasures or some long forgotten adventure.”

As the music continued, Naveen took the time to cast another glance around the room. It was pretty much a mellow crowd, the hour was growing late and the food and ale that had been consumed by most had had its effect. ‘All well and good,’ she thought, leaning back and putting her booted feet up on the nearest chair.

It was turning out to be a more pleasant night then Touron expected, what with the turn in the weather and all. He stole a quick glance around the room, nodding at Naveen when he caught her looking his way, and then reached for the mug that he had poured for himself to take a quick sip. The owner of the Varda didn’t mind his help imbibing while working as long as they didn’t overdo it. Besides, one of the customers had paid for this one and he didn’t want to forget about it.

*

(OOC: just a wee small challenge that I see worked. :wink: lol added another, will it be taken up?)
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Postby erinhue » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:39 am

OOC: *Something new huh? Well I do like a challenge so I wil try to come up with something brand spanking new just for you darlin'. I must say I have not really tried to write any serious new poetry since my love and inspiraton sailed into the West but I will give it a long awaited try. Until then I hope this will suffice.*

Erinhue sipped at his tankard of beer to wet his throat after the long and energetically sung Morgan's Joy. There was a joyous mood in the tavern's tap room and his long honed talents told him it was time for a change of pace. Just as he was about to start a new song one of the serving girls came up to him with a proffered coin and a request for something new.

Erinhue did love a challenge but to come up with a new song on the spot would be a worthy one even for his expertise. To cover and to give himself some time he fell back on an old favortie that was sure to mellow the crowd and make it more receptive in case the spur of the moment rhyming needed to satisfy the request did not quite satisfy the expectations of his audience.
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Postby erinhue » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:48 am

Alright old worm, Erinhue thought at his harp, We've got ourselve a shiny gold coin for a brand new song. I need some time to work one up and I know just what will give it to us. What I need from you is to get them crying in their cups.

The bard set down his tankard and laid his left hand flat along the dragonharp's strings. In compliance with its bard's request, Agarak began to sing the introduction for the wanted song. The harp liked the song in question and threw its considerable power and magic into the tune.

The notes rose from its strings like golden butterflies rising from a field of wild floweres. The music painted vivid pictures in the minds and hearts of the audience and one of the more suseptible serving girls began to sniffle before a word was sung.
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Postby erinhue » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:49 am

Treebeard’s Lament

A long and twice a long ago
The world was paradise,
with twice our hearts desire
and milenium to abide
but time it brings a yearning
that will not in time subside
/that yearning bred a longing
for places far and wide

Your heart lived in the garden
while mine beat in the wood
who knew that when we parted
the rift would be for good

And side by side awhile we stayed
where each could have his own
the mild for you the wild for me
and all the world was home
but longing needs fulfilling
the heart cannot deny
our compromise was willing
but it led us to good-bye

Your heart beat in the valley
while mine walked in the hills
a thousand and more years gone by
and I am searching still

For just a little space of time
our paths would move apart
and each would go their way to find
the passions of their heart
time passes at a different pace
deep longings have their sway
and when I turned to seek your face
I could not find the way

Your heart walked in the pastures
and mine the forests roamed
there's no joy in the wildwood now
for your heart was my home.
"Where ever you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Bonzi

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Postby rwhen » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:17 pm

OOC....Thinking about jumping in, since this is still pretty new on the start up. I am developing a new charrie (nope Hue, not a singer) it will actually be the *town crazy* her name is Korah. But she is still being fleshed out. Let me think on it and see how it goes. Do you think that would be welcome, Arassuil?
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Postby Arassuil » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:53 pm

(OOC: Sounds like a good idea rwhen. People wanting to write here... the thing to do would be get your character at least outlined and post here in-character. You can flesh out the details as you write. Otherwise we end up with a bunch of OOC posts asking and answering and have no tale content. I was hoping to have no OOC-only posts here, with OOC comments added on the ends of in-character posts. But, being that there is some activity happening, I should just shut up.)

The bard was too busy making music to hear what Dauril said, so he went back and sat down, watching the people in the common room and listening to the bard's offerings. Duaril could tell he was way out-classed and knew his rugged dirges of war and death would not fit well here. He took a long draught from his tankard and smiled slightly as he relaxed a little. He would have relaxed more but the ill feeling of awhile ago still pondered upon the edges of his mind.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:03 pm

OOC: All this talk of challenges and fresh starts, I suppose that it's high time I tried out a new character my own self. END OOC:

Two trevel worn and bedraggled figures entered the inn -- A large, unshaven giant of a man with wild dark hair and beard. His ice blue eyes took in the surroundings in a cool, calculated manner. His companion was a young woman, if she was even that old, with stringy, limp, reddish-brown hair and glassy, dark brown eyes. She looked thin and pale, as if she was or had been afflicted with a long illness, and she leanned heavilly on the man's arm.

He spoke to manager who stood behind the desk. "My wife needs to lie down as quickly as possable." His voice was gruff and emotionless. "But I fear to let go of her arm. She is too weak to stand on her own. Could you please show us to a room. I'll pay once she's settled."

At the word 'room' the girl's face twisted like someone awakening from a nightmare and her eyes cleared of their haze. She looked to the manager and mouthed "Help me!"

Uncertain what to do the manager reached for a key. "It's fine, I certainly understand."

The girl was shaking her head, her dark eyes wide.

"You may pay as soon as it's convienient, so long as you pay before you leave."

"No!" she yelped drawing all eyes to her. "Go on ahead and pay him now, dear. I can stand that long on my own if you'll just let go of m-"

She was abruptly cut off when the man roughly scooped her up into his arms and began to talk over her excuses and pleas for help. "She gets delusional and not all there in the head sometimes," he began by way of appology. "We're on our way to see a famed healer to see if he can cure her."

The manager gave him a sympathetic look then led him up a flight of stairs. "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I have no ground floor rooms available."

"It'll do." The man dropped the squirming girl on the bed, snatched the key and had closed the door in the manager's face berfor the smaller man realised what had happened.

As things began to click together, he frowned and leaned down to peek through the key hole.

"That little stunt's gonna cost you, Ondine." Framed in the key hole, the large man was grinding something in a mortar and pestal, while the girl whimpered and slowly, sluggishly tried to crawl off the bed and towards the door. He turned his cold eyes on her and she stopped as if frozen in place.

"Please, don't hurt me!" she begged, tears leaving tracks in the travel grime on her porcelain colored cheeks. Her slender hands shook as she tried to lift them in suplication. "Please! Why are you doing this to me? What have I done to you? Please just let me go home! I promise I won't tell! I swear, please just don't do hurt me again!" Her tiny frame collapsed into violent sobs as the man continued to prepare the seditive. When he was done, he reached into his pack and pulled out a length of rope.

When she saw it, the girl broke out into fresh pleadings. "No! Not that! Don't tie me up, please! I-- I'll be good! I won't try to run away! I'll sit up here and not make a sound! I'll be good! I'll be good!"

He flipped her back onto the bed and proceded to tie her frail looking wrists to the head board. Once he was sure she wasn't going anywhere, he moved to retrieve the seditive. "Time for your Medicine, Ondine." He forced her mouth open, dropped a pasty substance in, then closed her mouth and pinched her nose until she swallowed it.

She gasped for breath when he let her go and started moving away from her to clean up his mess. Within seconds, her movements became slow and twitchy, her words slurred. "Why? Why do you do this? I'm not crazy! I'm not crazy. I'm not... Gonna chase the coneies. That's what the hounds are for. Hounds chase conies; conies chase oliphaunts; oliphaunts chase mice; mice chase cats..." She finally stopped moving, her once again glassy eyes staring at the door.

The large man walked over to her and untied her, stowing the rope in his pack, then turned to leave.

The manager scurred down the steps and back to his desk, shaking slightly and wondering what to do. Was the girl really crazy? Well, she certainly talked like it after he shoved that stuff down her throat! But before that, she seemed quite lucid... He shuddered when he thought about the implications on the scene he just witnessed, then looke up as the man came down the stairs, pocketing the key.

"We'll be staying for a couple days so I can rest, before moving on to find the healer. If you'd like to charge a little extra to cover the disturbances my poor little wife may cause, I'll understand. So how much do you charge a day?"
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Postby erinhue » Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:29 am

OOC* Hmmm this is getting to the point where it kinda needs an OOC thread. sorry for dissing your character Arassuil didn't mean to*

The sound of the door drew Erinhue's eye. He continued to sing but watched the newcomers intently. There was something familiar about the girl. He couldn't quite place her but there was something about her that tugged at his memory. The large man with her had a less than plesant feel about him. He called her his wife but the girl hardly seemed of marrigable age. The grip he had on her arm spoke neither of assistance nor affection.

If I where kin to her I never would have stood to see her wed to such a brute, the bard thought. Perhaps it was the story of the ballad that he sang, perhaps he was succumbing to the magic of his harp but something about the scene touched his heart and aroused his suspicions. Erinhue resolved to do something about those feelings. The new song would have to wait.

When the last strains of the music hung in the air and the last words of the song had left his lips, Erinhue left his impromptu stage and went over to the bar. Winking at the bartender he positioned himself beside the larger man and called out

"A tankard my good sir, your finest ale for my friend here and for me."

When the gruff man turned a scowl in his direction Erinhue met it with a dazzling smile of his own.

"Hail and well met to ya my friend. I could not help but take note of your arrival. You look to be a man with many tales under his belt. As a bard Im always on the look out for new material. My nose tells me that you just might have a story that would make for a good song."

He brightened his smile just a little and stuck out his hand.

"The name's Erinhue, Bard of Belfalas. Who might you be and what tale can you tell to pass the time this dreary eve?"
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Postby erinhue » Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:29 am

Drat, I know no one will believe me but I really didn't mean this double post PB darlin' I just could not resist an opening like that.
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Postby rwhen » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:47 am

OOC...Arassuil. I do think you should have an OOC, just sayin. Since my post, it appears that PB now has a charrie that is/not crazy, so I will withdraw, good luck with the RP. I will be reading.
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Postby Fir-Bolg » Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:18 am

From the archway, the thing that had been Mullik watched the minstrel garner the applause of the rabble. How simple, this exercise seemed. It stepped forward from the shadows, and spoke to the room.

" I have a song."

The voice rang clear, like a bell pealing in a churchyard. The result was immediate. The hubbub subsided, and an expectant, uncomfortable hush fell. Mullik's shade felt eyes guage it, then slip away, as though the darkness of its essence was paining.

"If it pleases you."

There were mumblings from the crowd, then the bartender spoke up, his voice quavering but slightly.

"'Tis always a pleasure to hear something new. What do you have for us?"

"Truth," replied the thing, and moved to the centre of the room. No longer was its voice childlike; a deeper timbre had possessed it, and Touron took notice. He shuddered, as with a hiss of intaken breath, it began.

"As the kings of men fled south like women
Who cracked whips at their heels?
When the skulls of the fallen were plated with gold
And raised in triumph by the spirits of old
Whilst the crows had their fill
Of the bloated corpses
What did you see with those eyeless sockets?
Just the swarm triumphant, filling their pockets.
Those trifles and baubles.
Those personal things
Are no use to you, abandoned of kings.
Numenorean cattle.
Detritus of battle.
Who remembers your names?"

It grinned, and awaited the response...
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Postby Tempest » Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:45 pm

Tempest had nearly finished her meal when the good bard began his famous song. She smiled in spite of herself, for she was feeling uncommonly good about the evening, and not even Erinhue's cheery singing could alter her mood. He hadn't seen her, for she was sitting behind him, but she made a mental note to speak with him later, for she knew why he had ventured this far north.

His second song caused her to lean back in her chair in surprise, for it held a sadness she had not detected in him before. Even as she was wondering about that, she observed the entrance of two bedraggled figures, and her face hardened slightly as she noted the way the girl looked at her companion, and the vice-like grip with which he held her arm.

"What a lovely couple," she thought sarcastically. "One more wonderful example of why I never intend to marry."

But suddenly her attention was engaged elsewhere, as a bizarre figure made its way into the center of the room and spoke in a voice that did not match the husky frame that it came from.

"I have a song," the figure said, and then drew its breath in deeply as it began.

"As the kings of men fled south like women
Who cracked whips at their heels?
When the skulls of the fallen were plated with gold
And raised in triumph by the spirits of old
Whilst the crows had their fill
Of the bloated corpses
What did you see with those eyeless sockets?
Just the swarm triumphant, filling their pockets.
Those trifles and baubles.
Those personal things
Are no use to you, abandoned of kings.
Numenorean cattle.
Detritus of battle.
Who remembers your names?"


It grinned, and awaited the response, glancing around at the gathered crowd who had stopped eating and drinking and were all staring with disgust and fear on their faces.

The silence was deafening.

Across the room, Tempest caught Erinhue's eye and she knew what he was thinking. That was no ordinary song, and it was no ordinary singer. There was something decidedly dark about him---probably another cast-off from the Dark Lord's defeated army, or a man from the South or East with a score to settle. Still, one couldn't be too careful, and she saw the warning in Erinhue's eyes.

Then, Tempest moved her chair, causing it to screech across the floor as she stood up, setting everyone's already fragile nerves on edge. She began clapping her hands together as she walked slowly towards the singer.

Eyebrow raised, she looked up at him and studied the rather grotesque face that stared back at her.

"Are you insane?" she asked with a sneer, "Or are you really just that badly looking for a fight? Because, I'm sure I can oblige you, if that be the case."
Last edited by Tempest on Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tempest
Ranger of the North


 
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Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2000 8:12 am
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